Skip to main content

Full text of "A historical sketch of New Hope Church, in Orange County, N.C."

See other formats







^jsar l*? - .:•■ v >v 

In Orange Bounty, J^f. G. 


By Rev. D. I. GRASC, 




/ - . 


It has long been a source of great grief to me that the 
early history of New Hope church should be so imperfectly 
known, and permitted to remain in comparative obscurity 
with the prospect of passing away into oblivion. If the his- 
tory of a church or a community is lost or unknown we 
fail to see the oft-repeated fulfilment of the promises of God 
to His people. Generation after generation come and go 
and leave behind them a history, and if this be lost or 
unknown their children may be ignorant of the fact that they 
are enjoying blessings and privileges which are but the ful- 
filment of an unchanging promise to their God-fearing ances- 
tors. We easily lose the line of our ancestry, and conse- 
quently we lose their history, which, if known, might teach 
us the great lesson that " God is not slack concerning His 
promise, as some men count slackness." How can we know 
the fulfilment of the promise, " I will be a God unto thee and 
to thy seed after thee," unless we know our ancestry? 

New Hope church, the cradle of my infancy and the 
church of my fathers, has a history; and while much of it is 
involved in doubt and uncertainty, yet much of it may be 
known and should not be lost or forgotten. Therefore in my 
leisure hours I have felt it incumbent on me to collect 
together certain facts and dates and put them into such shape 
that they might be preserved for future generations. From 
my childhood I have loved the dear old New Hope church 
and, having always had a desire to know her early history, I 
have gathered together much data in this pamphlet which I 
am confident is not generally known. If I have made mis- 


takes it has been done through ignorance, and I hope by the 
help of others at some future day to correct them. I know 
the work i.s imperfectly done, but I have the consolation of 
knowing, also, that something, at least, has been preserved, 
which otherwise might have been lost forever. And humbly 
hoping that it may do some good among my kindred and 
friends by way of strengthening their faith in the promises 
of God and leading them to the Saviour, I commit these pages 
to my brethren in the Lord of New Hope congregation. 

Reidsville, N. C, May 22, 1886. 


Since writing the first edition of this sketch, I have re- 
ceived numbers of letters from various persons, especially in 
the western states desiring copies of this little book. I could 
not supply them, as it was out of print and the limited number 
of copies long since exhausted. 

In the meantime certain facts and data have come into 
my possession which will he interesting to the reader and are 
a valuable addition to the sketch. I am largely indebted to 
Mr. John A. Freeland, of Illinois, for much of the informa- 

I have endeavored to correct former mistakes and errors, 
and I hope the little book will find favor with all who are 
interested in it, and prove a blessing to the church. 


Reidsville, N. C, January 14, 189], 

History of New Hope Ghursh, 


About two hundred years ago the middle section of 
North Carolina was one wild and extensive wilderness, inhab- 
ited by savages and the wild beasts and birds of the forest. 
It was about the year 1685 that Spotwood describes the en- 
tire State as being without any form of government. The few 
settlers, chiefly in the eastern portion of the State, "did what 
was right in their own eyes, paying tribute neither to God nor 
Osesar." Mr. Banceoft, says: "There was no fixed minister 
in the land till 1703; no church erected till 1705; no separate 
building for a court house till 1722; no printing press till 1754. 
Careless of religious sects, or colleges or lawyers or absolute 
laws, the early settlers enjoyed liberty of conscience and per- 
sonal independance, freedom of the forest and river. The 
children of nature listened to the inspirations of nature. * 
* * For then the wild bee stored its honey in hollow 
trees; for them unnumbered swine fattened on the fruits of 
the forest or the heaps of peaches; for them in spite of their 
careless lives and imperfect husbandry, cattle multiplied on 
the pleasant savannahs, and they desired no greater happiness 
than they enjoyed. * * They were the freest 

of free; men to whom the restraints of other colonies were 
too severe; they were not so much caged in the woods as scat- 
tered in lonely granges. There was neither city nor township 
there was hardly even hamlet or one house within sight of 


another; nor were there roads, except as the paths from house 
to house were distinguished by notches in the trees. But the 
settlers were gentle in their manners, of serene minds, and 
enemies to violence and bloodshed. Not all the successive 
revolutions had kindled vindictive passions; freedom — entire 
freedom — was enjoyed without anxiety as without guarantees 
the charities of life were scattered at their feet like the flow- 
ers in their meadows, and the spirit of humanity maintained 
its influence in the Arcadia, as royalist writers will have it, 
of 'rogues and rebels' in the paradise of the Quakers." 

In my early days I have heard from the lips of some of 
the oldest inhabitants, stories told them by their fathers 
which well agree with these statements. 1 have heard of the 
wild swine growing fat on fruits and of the roads which were 
but Indian paths. I have been told that the road between 
the New Hope and Hawfields settlements was distinguished 
by notches in the trees. But it must be remembered that 
when Mr. Bancroft speaks of the first minister and the first 
church in North Carolina, he means the established church 
of England which was imposed by law. Whether there were 
not even in 1703, many rude buildings scattered through the 
country called " meeting houses," after the Quaker style, 
where the people met not only to worship God but for various 
other purposes, is a question, for the population increased 
very rapidly toward the close of the seventeenth century. But 
at this very time and long before, Scotland was the scene of 
endless commotions, oppressions, tyranny and bloodshed, 
arisiu» from continued attempts to suppress conscientious 
convictions of truth and liberty, and many of the Scotch, who 
were almost exclusively Presbyterians, first fled to Holland 
and thence to Ireland, where they remained a number of 
y^ars, when, by fresh oppressions they were driven to seek 
religious liberty in another clime; and, coming directly from 
Ireland to this country, they were called "Scotch-Irish." 
This was the original stock of the New Hope congregation. 
They were of the most fearless character, and accustomed to 


the severest hardships. They were unpretentious in their 
manners and customs, and most unlearned, but as unbending 
as iron pillars in their religious sentiments. 


It was late in the seventeenth century or very early in 
the eighteenth when the father of Gilbert Strayhorn — a 
Scotchman — immigrated to America and settled in Dauphin 
County, Pennsylvania, about 12 miles east of Harrisburg. We 
know but little of this original family, the original name of 
which was "Streaughan" or "Streaghan." This was the Scotch 
spelling, but in the old deeds of this country, some of which 
are in my possession, the name was spelled "Stream" The 
name was also known and spelled, as will be seen hereafter, 
as "Strain." 

I have learned through Mr. John A. Freeland, of Illinois, 
that in this family there was a brother older than Gilbert, 
whose name was David, and I will add that it is probable 
there was a third son, much younger than Gilbert, whose name 
was John. If this be true, there is ground for believing that 
the name of the old Scotchman himself, the father of the boys, 
was Gilbert. 

Gilbert his son, the patriarch, and the pioneer and father 
of the name " Strayhorn," was born at the aforesaid place in 
Pennsylvania in the year 1715 and was the father of all the 
Strayhorns in N. C. and many more who bear the same 
name in the western States. This man was one of the original 
founders of New Hope church, and it is not at all improbable 
that he was one of the original founders of Hawfields 
church at an earlier date. It was about twenty or twenty-five 
years after his birth in Pennsylvania that a number of fam- 
ilies, all of the Scotch-Irish stock, and bound together by the 
ties of relationship and one common heartfelt desire for relig- 


ious freedom, left the old world in search of a new home. 
Among these families were the Craigs, the Blackwoods, the 
Kirklands, the Freelands and perhaps the Mebanes, the Tates, 
the Harts, the Nelsons, the Mitchells, the Johnstons, etc. I am 
almost certain the Craigs, Blackwoods and Kirklands and per- 
haps the Freelands, came across the Atlantic in the same ves- 
sel, for they seem to have been connected by relationship in 
the old country, and did not separate after landing in Amer- 
ica until they were settled. Where they landed, I have no 
means of knowing but it is certain they located for a time in 
Pennsylvania. And precisely when they landed is a question 
over which I have labored hai'd and long, but have failed to find 
an answer which is perfectly satisfactory. But by comparing 
the dates of old deeds in my possession, together with certain 
family traditions and relics, I do not think I am far wrong — 
indeed, I think I am correct — when I say it was in the year 
1741. From certain facts and dates in my possession, I am 
confident that it was not later than 1741 and not earlier than 
1736 when these families landed on American soil. How long 
they remained in Pennsylvania I do not know, but it was not 
a great while, perhaps only a few months, or not more than 
two years. Pennsylvania at this time was sorely tried by the 
French and Indian wars, and it was chiefly on account of hos- 
tile Indians that they fled to North Carolina. It was in mid 
winter and as they passed through Virginia some of the 
rivers were so completely frozen up that they drove their 
teams over them on the solid ice. They refused to stop in 
Virginia, chiefly because the established church was there in 
full force. They finally reached North Carolina where they 
settled in the Hawfields and remained several years — until 
about 1750 or a little later. Whether Gilbert Strayhorn came 
to the Hawfields settlement from Pennsylvania in company 
with William Craige, William Blackwood, Mr. Kirkland and 
others, I do not know; but if he did not come with them it was 
not far from the same time — perhaps a little earlier. I have 
been informed by an uncle of mine, W. F. Strayhorn, who 


was a great-grandson of Gilbert, that he came to the Hawfields 
in the year 1740, and if this be true he was then twenty-five 
years old. He was a tailor by trade and after having lived in 
the settlement a short time, he returned to Pennsylvania and 
was united in marriage with Miss Margaret Roan whose 
mother was the widow Hunter. He immediately returned to the 
Hawfields and settled on the place where Calvin Tate now 
lives, about one mile south of Mebaneville. He lived at this 
place two years, during which time his eldest son, John, was 
born, ( 1742 ) and then he removed into the bounds of New 
Hope. It was no^jfuntil the year 1754-5, however, that he got 
the deeds for his lands. It was about this time that he 
changed his name from "Strean"or"Streaughn" to "Strayhorn" 
and when asked the reason for the change he replied "I have 
simply put a 'horn' to it to make it sound." I heard of one 
or two other explanations of the change, but 1 am sure the 
above was his explanation and always told in a jocular way. 
It may be well to state just here an explanation of what has 
long been a mystery to me. I have always been told that the 
Stray horns and Strains were one family but I could never un- 
derstand the connection. Mr. John A. Freeland of Illinois 
who is a grandson, on his mother's side, of Alexander Strain 
and who has a remarkable memory and states facts very con- 
cisely as told him by his ancestors, has made the matter very 
plain to me. 

It seems that Gilbert Strayhorn's elder brother in Penn- 
sylvania, whose name was David, had three sons. These sons 
came to N. C. in search of their uncle Gilbert, and after find- 
ing him in the neighborhood of New Hope, and they were no 
other than Alexander, John and James Strain. They found 
that their uncle had changed his name and not willing to 
adopt it, they retained their name of "Strain," or at any rate 
they were known by that name. It is now evident that Alex- 
ander and John Strain, whose names are recorded as elders 
of New Hope church before the year 1820, were nephews of 
Gilbert Strayhorn. John was also his son-in-law, having mar- 


ried his daughter Miriam. Mr. Freeland says the wife of 
Alexander, his grandmother, was a daughter of James Hun- 
ter, whose house was burned and himself outlawed by Gov. 
Lyons of revlutionary fame. The Hunter family fled and 
took refuge in the house of Gilbert Strayhorn, and it was 
there that Alexander Strain met and married his daughter. 
It is probable that James Hunter was a half brother of Gil- 
bert Stray horn's wife. 

Wm. Craige settled on what is known as "the old Strud- 
wick place" in the Hawfields where Addison Wilson now lives. 
I do not know where William Blackwood or Joseph Kirkland 
and others located before coming to New Hope. It was about 
this time — not far from 1750 — when it was rumored in the 
Hawfields settlement that the title grants which they had 
obtained for their lands through the agents of Earl Granville 
were not genuine. And as this impression grew upon the 
minds of the people, family after family left their premises 
and moved to other localities. This was the case with Wil- 
liam Craige, Gilbert Strayhorn and others, who came to the 
waters of New Hope. It appears that while the Hawfields 
settlement was being filled up, the Earl Granville became 
deeply involved in debt — by gambling, as the traditional story 
goes — to one Lord Barrington, of London, and that he trans- 
ferred to him for the debt a large scope of land on the Cape 
Fear river, and also the Hawfields settlements in North Caro- 
lina. And a short time afterwards, Lord Barrington being- 
involved with Mr. Samuel Strudwick, of London, in like man- 
ner transferred the property to him. In after years one of the 
descendants of Mr. Strudwick came to North Carolina and 
settled where William Craige first lived. Many of the settlers 
did not and would not leave taeir premises, and this whole 
affair was a matter of litigation in the courts for many years 
afterwards. Perhaps William Craige and some others came to 
New Hope some two or three years before Gilbert Strayhorn, 
but all these families were undoubtedly connected with the 
first church built in the Hawfields. It is well known that the 


Rev. Hugh McAden was the first permanent Presbyterian 
minister in this section, though missionary supplies had 
been sent to North Carolina before him, and it is highly prob- 
able that some of these had visited the Hawfields. In Mr. 
McAden's journal appears the following note :" On Friday 
evening I rode to the Hawfields, where 1 preached the fourth 
Sabbath in August — August 24,1755, — to a considerable 
population, chiefly Presbyterian, who seemed highly pleased 
and very desirous to hear the Word preached again on Tues- 
day; the people came out to hear quite beyond expectation." 
From this it appears evident to me that there was a house for 
public worship and perhaps had been for several years. 
Besides, he had come to the Hawfields from Eno, where he 
had preached August 10, 1755, and there seems to have been 
a house of worship there also. But my understanding as 
gathered from my ancestors has always been that Hawfields 
church was several years older than Eno. Therefore the first 
settlers of New Hope evidently left a church in the Hawfields 
when they removed, and it is well known that for a number 
of years afterwards they regularly attended service there — a 
distance of at least twenty miles — while Eno would have 
been much nearer. They clung to the old mother church, 
and long after a house of worship had been built at New 
Hope they still adhered to the Hawfields; and this accounts 
for the fact that New Hope church does not appear as a reg- 
ular organized church until a number of years after its exist- 
ence. Thus it will be seen that New Hope church not only 
sprang from the original church of the Hawfields but was a 
part of it, and the history of the one involves the history of 
the other. The early settlers of New Hope, consisting of the 
Craigs, Blackwoods, Kirklands, Freelands, Stray horns, Harts, 
etc., were not only closely connected among themselves, but 
had intermarried with the Nelsons, the Tates, the Tinnins, 
the Mitchells, the Johnstons, etc., of the Hawfields, thus ren- 
dering the bond of union and sympathy between the two set- 
tlements the more close and lasting. 



As has been stated, sometime not far from the year 1750 
William Craige and others, together with their sons, some of 
whom were now married, determined to leave the Hawfields, 
They came into the neighborhood o? New Hope, where they 
saw rich bottoms, numerous creeks and springs, spacious mead- 
ow lands and fine forest trees. They had an eye for the best 
lands, and here — -after weary wanderings, untold hardships, 
and anxieties of body and mind — they were inspired with 
" new hopes,'* and at once determined upon their permanent 
home. They looked upon the prospect and called it a " New 
Hope." This is the explanation th it has been handed down 
to me through generations, of the origin of the name of the 
stream which is called "New Hope" unto this day. But 
whether this or some similar circumstance lower down 
and at an earlier date, or whether it originated with the 
Indians, I do not certainly know. But it is of some impor- 
tance to know the origin of the name of the stream, for what- 
ever it may have been was likewise the origin of the name of 
the church. But this is the only explanation I have ever 
heard given, and it is perhaps the correct one. 

The church is situated on the north side and about one mile 
from this stream, which takes its rise several miles west of 
the church. It flows in a south-easterly direction into the 
Cape Fear, and thence into the Atlantic ocean. For more 
than a century it was famous for its abundant production of 
fish, and at the present time few streams of like size yield a 
better supply or quality. 

* Dr. Joseph Caldwell, in a speech, delivered in Hillsboro in 1833, says that an 
early Company of Colonists from the Roanoke went out to make discoveries and 
found this stream and out of the joy and thankfulness of their hearts, exclaimed 
"New Hope." But this is traditional as well as the above. 




Perhaps some of the readers of this sketch are not aware 
that " the province of Carolina, embracing what is now North 
and South Carolina, and extending westward to the Pacific 
ocean, was granted by King Charles II. to eight lords pro- 
prietors; that these surrendered their right to the crown in 
1729 — one of them, Lord Carteret, afterwards Earl Gran- 
ville, retaining his undivided interest in the soil, — -and at the 
same time two distinct provincial governments were estab- 
lished in North and South Carolina, and that in the year 1743 
Earl Granville's interest was laid off in severalty, and em- 
braced the northern side of North Carolina and as far south 
as the Montgomery line, or near to it, and thus included the 
lands in Orange county. And though this proprietor retained 
no political power, his rights in the soil involved land offices 
and agencies, forming a sort of government within a govern- 
oient, and involving complications and burdens which added 
to those grievances which helped to prepare the way for the 
Revolution." This was the condition of things in l750- , 54, 
when the lands around New Hope church were purchased 
directly from Earl Granville. They were bought at fair pur- 
chases, and not a title was stained by fraud or violence to the 
original owners. The oldest purchase in the vicinity of New 
Hope church was made by William Craige. 

William Craige, as before stated, was a Scotch-Irishman 5 
and born in the seventeenth century. He spelled his name 
with a final " p," which most of his descendants have dropped. 
He was married in the old country to Mrs. Margaret Long, 
the widow of George Long. Her maiden name was Margaret 
Logan. She had one child by Mr. Long — a son, — whose 
name was George, who came with them to America, and who 
shared equally with the Craig children. In after years a son 
of this boy, whose name was also George, married Isabel 


Craig, a daughter of John Craig, the eldest son of William. 
Thus it will be seen that this George Long and his wife, Isa- 
bel Craig, were the children of half brothers. This was the 
origin of the present Long family in the New Hope congre- 
gation, which has furnished the church with one ruling elder, 
George R., and two deacons, John J. and James D., — -all 
brothers. By this mother of the Longs, William Craige had 
five children, and at least two of them were born in Ireland, 
and perhaps four of them; for John, the eldest son, was a lad 
of some twelve or fourteen years old when they came across 
the ocean, while James was a little child in his crib not more 
than two years old. The names of the other three children 
were David, Samuel and Isabel. Samuel was the youngest 
child, and perhaps the only one born in this country. Some 
of these children were married about the time they came to 
New Hope. This was the original family of William Craige, 
who settled, lived and died about two or three miles west of 
the church, on the south bank of New Hope stream, on the 
lands now owned by Pendleton Cole, not far from a spring 
nearly opposite the mouth of Richland Fork creek. He " en- 
tered "and owned, together with his four sons, under the 
proprietorship of Lord Granville, all the lands on both sides 
of New Hope stream, several miles in width and extending 
up and down the stream, from the lands formerly owned by 
Baxter Davis to the present possessions of William Robson, 
on the road leading from Hillsboro' to Chapel Hill, embrac- 
ing a large area of country south and west from the church. 
The date of his death is unknown, but he lived to be a very 
old man, and his body lies buried, together with the body of 
his wife, in the old Hawfields burying ground. This sacred 
spot of earth, where scores of the old settlers lie buried, has 
recently been plowed up and cultivated in corn, and the stones 
which marked many a grave have been rudely torn down and 
scattered over the fields. The perpetrator of this deed was 
Addison Wilson, who has recently been indicted in the courts, 
and it is to be hoped will receive just punishment for such an 
outrage against humanity. 


Thei e are now no visible signs to mark the spot where the 
old house of William Craige stood. 

John Craig, the eldest son, married Mary Blackwood, the 
•daughter of William Blackwood, and settled * the Isaac Craig 
place, 1 ' afterwards owned by J. N. Craig, and now the prop- 
erty of J. W. Cole. This place was settled about the same 
time, or soon after the settlement of the old homestead. And 
this son, John, who was a few years younger than Gilbert 
Strayhorn, was one of the founders of the New Hope church. 

David, who was perhaps the second son, married Nellie 
Turner, of the Hawfields, and settled what is known as "the 
Currie place," which was afterwards owned by J. N. Craig 
and others, and now the property of J. W. Cole. The site of 
the old settlement was near New Hope stream, on the north 
bank, and not far to the east of the public road. 

James married Rebecca Ball, whose mother was a Miss 
Wilson, known as " Grandmother Ball." This old lady lived 
with James Craig until she died at an advanced age. She 
was an Irishwoman, and came from Pennsylvania with the 
Craigs. I have often heard of her remarkable small head, 
and have seen a cap she wore which was not too large for an 
ordinary baby. She had an ungovernable temper, and was 
wholly different from her daughter, Rebecca, who was noted 
for her deep piety and godly life. The settlement of James Craig, 
which was about a mile to the northeast from the old homestead, 
was known as "Richland Fork, 1 ' and thefiist house stood just 
west of the fork, near the confluence of the two creeks, and in 
my boyhood was called "the old orchard." The last of the 
old apple trees have disappeared within my memory. The 
second house stood within the fork, and the walls of the third 
house, in which James Craig died, are still standing. This is 
the place where my grandfather, David Wilson Craig, was 
born, lived and died. And according to the old deeds this 
place was laid off and surveyed Dec. 4, 1754, "adjoining Wil- 
liam Craig's own line," showing that he had made entries 
prior to this date. It was deeded Sept. 13, 1755, and prDved 
in open court the same month. It was sold by William Craige 
to John Reaney June 8, 1756, and bought back from Mr. 


Beaney by James Craig, the son of William, in June, 1758. 
It has been in the possession of the family from that day to 
this. • 

Samuel, married Mary Johnston of the Hawfields, and 
settled on the old homestead at the place where Pendleton 
Cole lived and died. 

Isabel, the only daughter of William Craige, married Da- 
vid Nelson, and removed to the Hawfields, where many of 
her decendants are still to be found. These were the early 
Craig Settlers and their places of residence. 

The aforesaid sons of William Craige died, as follows: 

David, November 2, 1785. 

Samuel, September 21, 1790. 

John, February 6, 1816. 

James, July 21, 1821. 

Gilbert Strayhorn, as already stated, was a few years 
older than John Craig, the eldest son of William. And 
while the Craig's located about two or three miles to the 
south-west from the church on the waters of New Hope, this 
man settled about two or three miles to the north-east from 
the church on the waters of the Eqo. The church was about 
midway between the two original settlements, and their lands 
joined not far from it. Gilbert Stray horn's old homestead is 
now owned by his direct decendant, William G. Strayhorn, 
who is in the fifth generation in direct line, both from his 
father and his mother. This is a singular fact, for William 
Strayhorn's grandfather on his father's side and his grand- 
mother on his mother's side w r ere both the grandchildren of 
Gilbert Strayhorn. The site of the old place is on the south 
side of the public road leading from Hillsboro to Durham, 
and just opposite the present settlement. It appears from an 
old deed that this place was a part of six hundred acres gran- 
ted by Earl Granville to John Wood in the year 1754, and 
bought by Gilbert Strayhorn in the following year 1755. 
Other deeds show that Gilbert Strayhorn afterwards entered 
and bought lands until he owned, together with his sons, a 
large area of country, which was for many years called "the 
Strayhorn neighborhood." As above stated, these lands join- 


ed the lands of the Craigs on the waters of New Hope, and the 
church was situated on the border of the possession next 
to the Craigs. He lived to be eighty-eight years old, and 
his body lies buried in the old New Hope Graveyard. He 
and John Craig were the first elders and original founders 
of the church. He had eight children — four sons and four 
daughters. His sons were John, William, James and Da- 
vid; his daughters were Nancy, Miriam, Sarah and Mary. 

John, the eldest child, married Elizabeth Johnston, of 
the Hawfields, and settled the place where Robert Shields 
now lives. 

William married Mary Tate, of the Hawfields, and after- 
wards Mary Hunter, and settled the place where David 
Strayhorn recently lived and died. 

James married Bachael Cabe, and settled the place where 
John T. Hogan now lives. 

David married Cabe, and afterwards Penny Berry, 

and lived at the old homestead. 

Nancy married James Hart, and lived near a spring just 
north of '■ the Bryant Strayhorn place," and afterwards at 
the place where Alexander Dickson lived and died. 

Miriam married John Strain, and lived on the road a few 
miles north of Chapel Hill. 

Sarah married William Ansley, and moved to Georgia. 
Mary married John Cabe, who settled the place where 
William T. Shields lived and died. 

Thus it will be seen that New Hope church was sur- 
rounded for miles in extent and in every direction by the 
possessions of the sons and daughters of William Craige 
and Gilbert Strayhorn. 

William Blackwood, one of the first settlers, located to 
the south- west of the Craigs, and owned large bodies of land 
known to this day as " the big meadows." And to the east of 
these lands is quite an elevation, which has always been 
known as "the Blackwood mountain." It is my impression, 
without knowing just how I got it, that William Blackwood's 
wife, Betsy, whom he married in Ireland, was a sister of 
William Craige. But whether this be true or not, they were 


among the original settlers, and were both members of Haw- 
fields church before coming to New Hope. Their children! 
were James, John, William, Martha, Mary, Peggy, Annie and 

James married, and located some miles below Chapel Hill. 

AVilliam married Margaret King, and settled on the old 
homestead, and John moved away. 

Martha married Charles Johnston, and Mary married 
John Craig, of whom mention has already been made. 

Peggy married Joseph Kirkland, perhaps a son of the 
original settler. 

Annie married a Mr. Morrow, of the Hawfields, and Jennie 
married a Mr. Allen, also of the Hawfields. 

It was through the above mentioned son, William, that the 
name has been perpetuated in the New Hope congregation. 

Joseph Kirkland was among the original settlers, and 
located to the west and south of Mr. Blackwood. Two of his 
grandsons, William and Joseph, married the daughters of 
Samuel Craig, Betsy and Isabel; and one of his grand- 
daughters, Martha, married a son of Samuel Craig, whose 
name was also Samuel. The Blackwoods and Kirklands have 
always been closely connected and identified with New Hope 
church. From her earliest history to the present day these 
families have produced a number of members and office- 
bearers. At the present time both families have a represen- 
tative in the session. 

The Freelands were also among the original settlers and. 
were closely connected with the Craigs and Kirklands. The 
present Johnston family, on the waters of New Hope, is of 
s omewhat later date, and on the father's side is of English 
descent. But both these families have long been identified 
with the church, and have furnished her with much valuable 
material. But at the present time George S. Freeland, a com- 
municant, and C. W. Johnston, Esq., a ruling elder, are the 
only male representatives, together with their children, of 
these two families in the congregation. 

The Geddes family, now spelled "Gattis," in their early 
history, belonged to New Hope church, but nearly all of 


them are now in the Methodist church. One of the descen- 
dants of the old Elder Alexander, is now a Methodist Minis- 
ter, Thomas, by name. 

William Burns, a weaver by trade, was early on the ground 
at New Hope, but the name is known no more. One of his 
daughters married James Craig, a grandson of William, and 
one of his grandsons moved to Texas. 

There are now no male survivors in the congregation of 
the Mitchell and Hart families, which figured in the early 
stages of the church's history. 

The Hogan family, in connection with the church, dates 
from about the year 1838, and at the present time one of her 
ruling elders is John T. Hogan. 



The first church building erected, and which was called 
"New Hope." was situated in Orange county, five miles sonth 
of Hillsboro', and about one-fourth of a mile east of the pub- 
lic road leading to Chapel Hill. It was necessarily a very 
rude structure, corresponding with the almost new country 
and straitened circumstances of the original settlers. It 
stood just outside of the old graveyard at the north-west 
corner. As heretofore stated, it was built by a part of the 
original Hawfields congregation, and perhaps the first inten- 
tion was merely to have a " meeting-house," convenient to the 
few families, where they might assemble when a minister by 
chance should visit them. This is a reasonable supposition, 
because it was quite a number of years after this house was 
built before the church was regularly organized. I have only 
traditional authority for saying that in this house Henry Pa- 
tillo occasionally preached. And this also seems reasonable, 
for he was the first pastor of Hawfields and Eno churches, 


and as the New Hope people still adhered to the Hawfields, 
he was likewise their pastor. He came to the Hawfields in 
the year 1765 and left in 1774, and it is almost certain that 
this house at New Hope was built before he came to the field. 
But whether he or one of his immediate successors organized 
the church, and whether in this house or not, will perhaps 
never be known, though it is confidently believed that he did 
organize the church, and in this house. I may here state 
that the original records of New Hope church, together with 
the records of the first twenty-five years of Orange Presby- 
tery's existence, were destroyed by fire in the house of Dr. 
John Witherspoon, which was burned the first day of Janu- 
ary, 1827. This is a matter of deep though vain regret, as it 
necessarily prevents accuracy of dates and names, as well as 
the knowledge of much valuable information pertaining to the 
early church. But by taking into consideration all the facts 
which I have been enabled to collect, I am of the opinion 
that the first church building was erected about the year 
1760. It is impossible to determine anything even approxi- 
mating the time by any marks in the old graveyard. The first 
graves were marked with rough stones without any lettering, 
and I have been told that the first person buried there was a 
little child by the name of Steel, who was in some way con- 
nected with Gilbert Strayhorn. The oldest date I have ever 
been able to find is in the corner next to where the church 
stood, and reads as follows: "D. C — N. 2. — 1785." My in- 
terpretation of this inscription is: David Craig; died Novem- 
ber 2, 1785. The location of the graveyard contiguous to the 
church is presumptive evidence in favor of the belief that the 
church was organized here, and that this house was in use a 
long time. The location for both church and graveyard was 
very unsuitable, the ground being entirely too low, and it 
would strike one as singular that they selected tin's spot while 
there are so many beautiful elevations all around. The land 
upon which this church was built, as well as all the succeed- 
ing ones, was at this time the property of Gilbert Strayhorn, 
and whether the house was organized in this house or not. 
it is certain that he and John Craig were among the original 
movers in the transaction. 




This house was located about two hundred yards to the 
south-west from the first building. It was on higher ground, 
a far better location, and about the same distance from the 
spring, which was to the north. It was built of large logs in 
octagonal shape, or rather it had eight corners, and seems to 
have been quite a roomy house. It was surrounded by large 
trees, some of which are still standing. 

The forest at that time was composed of large trees, stand- 
ing at considerable distance from each other, and the wild 
pea-viue, which grew luxuriantly, instead of the undergrowth 
which we now have. 

Around one of these trees near to the church it was the 
custom of the congregation to stack their guns during the 
service, while a sentinel kept watch over them, and gave the 
alarm in case of the approach.of Indians. 

On one occasion at this church the alarm was given, and 
quite a number of red men were seen to approach within a 
short distance from the church and suddenly halt. The 
minister, who must have bapn the Rev. John DeBow, abrupt- 
ly closed the services, and lit a pipe of tobacco, and smoked 
as he walked forth amid the confused and frightened congre- 
gation to meet the Indians. The pipe was offered to the 
chief of the clan, who received it and smoked, and then re- 
turned it to the minister. They immediately departed, having 
understood this token as an emblem of peace. I have heard 
this story through a great-uncle of mine, Isaac Craig, whose 
mother, the wife of James Craig, was present on that occa- 


Perhaps the first preacher who had anything like a regular 
appointment at New Hope church was the Rev. John Debow. 
He succeeded the Rev. Henry Patillo as pastor of Hawfields 
and Eno churches, and ministered to the people of New Hope 
as time and opportunity would permtt. He was a young 
man of considerable talent, and came to his field of labor 
about the year 1775. He died Sept. 8, 1783, at the age of 
thirty-eight, and was buried at Hawfields church. I have 
seen his grave, and have been informed that he was the first 
person buried at the present Hawfields churchyard. 

The next minister of New Hope was the Rev. Jacob Lake, 
who succeeded Mr. Debow, serving the churches in the same 
way until he left in the year 1790. He left the Presbytery in 
the year 1794, having been connected with it about ten years. 

The next minister was the famous William F. Thompson, 
the first pastor of the church. This man was ordained at New 
Hope, and was doubtless installed pastor at the same time. 

It is worthy of note that the first recorded meeting of 
Orange Presbytery now in existence is dated Nov. 18, 1795, 
and they met at New Hope church. This was the first meet- 
ing after Concord had been set off as a new Presbytery, and 
as I have already stated, all the recorded proceedings of the 
Presbytery before this were burned with the records of New 
Hope church. But according to this first record of the Pres- 
bytery now in existence, at this meeting at New Hope, the 
Rev. James Bowman was made moderator. William F. 
Thompson and William McGee were ordained, and John 
Gillispie was licensed. Robert Foster and Robert Tate were 
examined as candidates on parts of their trial. Robert Tate 
was an uncle of my grandfather, Samuel Strayhorn, and 
became one of the pioneer Presbyterian ministers in the 
eastern part of the state. 

Mr. Thompson, according to my information, was a native 
of Connecticut, and continued to be pastor of New Hope 
church until Nov. 12, 1799, when he resigned his charge at a 
pro re-nata meeting of the Presbytery held at Cross Roads 
church. He left the bounds of the Presbytery, and in April, 
1802, he was suspended from the ministry for false charges 


made against the Presbytery. He was a shrewd man, and 
during his ministry at New Hope he aroused the people to 
give more attention to schools, and from that time through 
many years afterwards a school was generally kept up at the 

It was soon after Mr. Lake's departure that Gilbert Stray- 
horn, who was now an old man, made a deed of gift " to the 
subscribers of the church and their successors " of two hun- 
dred acres of land. This deed was signed and sealed by 
Gilbert Stray horn the 25th day of Feb., 1792. At the insti- 
gation of Mr. Thompson a parsonage was built at the place 
where William 0, Claytor now lives, and a large portion of 
the aforesaid two hundred acres of land was laid off as a 
farm to be attached to the parsonage. But at the departure 
of Mr. Thompson this land, in some way, passed out of the 
hands of the church, and also another portion, after his de- 
parture, went in the same way, leavimg only seventy acres of 
the original tract belonging to the church. There has been a 
great deal said about these transactions, and a great many 
conflicting statements have been made. On the one hand, it 
has been claimed that the instrument of wiiting which Mr. 
Thompson drew up as a mere statement of the boundaries of 
the pastor's farm, and which the elders unwittingly signed, 
proved to be a bona-fide deed to him, and that he sold the 
land on leaving the congregation. On the other hand, it has 
been claimed that the elders of their own free will sold the land, 
and perhaps appropriated the money towards the building of 
the third church, or in settling arrears with Mr. Tnompson. 
Since writing the first edition of this pamphlet, I have seen 
the old deeds, which will forever set the matter at rest as to 
who sold the lands, but the question of right or wrong in the 
matter still remains 

On the twentieth day of Sept., 1799, the Rev. William F. 
Thompson made a deed to John Strayhorn, eon of Gilbert, 
for one hundred acres of land, more or less. 1 have seen this 
deed, and never in my life have I seen a more perfect and 
beautiful work of penmanship. In it Mr. Thompson says. 
" Said lands were conveyed and made over to me by bim, said 


Gilbert Strayhorn, etc."' Upon this statement alone it is evi- 
dent that the whole transaction was a fraud, and yet there 
are some strange facts connected with it. 

It will now be remembered that Gilbert Strayhorn made a 
deed of these said lands to " the subscribers of New Hope 
church, and to their successors forever," on the 25th day of 
Feb., 1792. This was three years before Thompson came to 
New Hope, for he was ordained and became pastor in Nov., 
1795, and he left in 1799 — the year in which he sold the land. 
Now the question is, what right had Gilbert Strayhorn to 
make a deed to Mr. Toompson, — or who will suppose that he 
did do so — after having already deeded the lands three or four 
years previous to the church ? 

Mr. Thompson says, " conveyed to me by him, per deed 
etc." It is a standing fact that no such "per deed, etc," has 
ever been seen or recorded. 

One of the strange things connected with the matter, is the 
fact that Gilbert Strayhorn was still living in 1799, and we 
would naturally expect that he would have exposed the fraud; 
but he was in the decripitude of old age and incapicitated for 
business and perhaps knew nothing of the transaction, and 
the presumption is that the congregation neither knew nor 
cared concerning fhe matter, and so it passed away without 
special notice. And as to John Strayhorn the purchaser, 
who was a son of Gilbert, it would seem that he would have 
known better and prevented any fraud, but some one 
has said, " he may have wanted the land very bad." I am 
confident the deed was a forgery. 

The other portion of land, seventeen acres, in the south- 
west corner of the tract, was sold by the elders and subscribers 
of New Hope church, — "after mature deliberation and con- 
sultation," for church repairs, on the 17th day of May, 1817. 
This was an honest transaction, but I am of decided opinion 
that they had no right to do so, according to the deed of 1792. 
It was sold to Samuel Strayhorn, a son of John, who now 
owned the Thompson tract. The deed was signed by ruling 
elders James Hart, John Freeland, James Strayhorn, John 
Strain and Alexander Strain; and by subscribers William 


Strayhorn, John Strayborn, David Strayborn, Alexander 
Gattis, George Johnston and Andrew Burns. 

The wrorjg that may have been perpetrated is a matter to 
be regretted, but it is sheer folly for anyone at this day and 
time to think of attempting the resurrection of those transac- 
tions. For whether it was right or wrong, or in accordance 
with the intentions of the donor or not, the right of 
possession has long since confirmed these transactions. 
The agitation of the question of reclaiming these lands 
can never amount to a row of pins towards accomplishing that 
end, and will be productive of no good, but great harm, and 
therefore ought to be sedulously avoided. And in view of 
the past, it is some consolation to believe that the remaining 
seventy acres, upon which all of the churches have stood, 
will never pass out of the hands of the congregation. 
The next minister who served the church in the second house 
of worship was the Rev. James H. Bowman. From the 
Presbyterial records I learn that in the year 1799 his charge 
was Eno and Little River. In the yeai 1800 he was sent as 
a missionary to the west, and returned in the fall of 1801, and 
perhaps came to New Hope in the year 1802. He was wholly 
different from Thompson in many respects. He seems to 
have been deeply pious, of considerable learning, and much 
engaged in teaching school in connection with tiis preaching. 
If I have been rightly informed he taught school at New 
Hope during his ministry as stated supply to the church. 
My grandfather, and others whom I have known, reim mbered 
him well, and his preaching. His ministry closed, or rather 
he left the Presbytery, in the year 1815. He was perhaps 
the first man who preached in the third house of worship, 
and he seems to have been greatly beloved by the people, and 
spent much of his time in pastoral visiting among them. 

I am not aware of the causes which about this time led to 
the building of a third church. Perhaps the old one was 
dilapidated from age, or it may be that the advanced ideas 
and tastes of the congregation demanded a new church. In 
the year 1800 there was a great revival at New Hope and the 
people came from great distances and camped for days on the 


ground. They preached and prayed and sung and shouted, 
and the spirit of the revival spread far and wide into other 
neighborhoods. It was perhaps the fruits of this revival 
which largely prompted the building of a new church. 



This house was located about two hundred yards to the 
south-east from the second. The situation was still more 
desirable than the second, and the spring, which was here- 
tofore on the north, was now deserted for an elegant one on 
the south, which bubbles out of a solid rock. This third 
church was built in the year 1805, and destroyed by fire on 
the night of March the 9th, 1862. The origin of the fire 
which destroyed it has always been a matter of conjecture, 
but most generally believed to have been the work of an 
incendiary. It occurred on Saturday night, and I well re- 
member the peculiar and almost comical expression on the 
face of the Rev. Dr. James Phillips, when he walked up 
and stood around the smouldering ruins on Sabbath morn- 
ing. But the want of a house did not prevent the beloved 
old doctor from preaching the gospel that day. The people 
assembled under the trees and quietly listened to a most 
excellent sermon from the 119th Psalm and 101st verse. 
The last sermon preached in this house was by the Rev. 
Dr. Charles Phillips on a public " fast day," February 28th, 
1862, the text, from "The wages of sin is death." In many res- 
pects it was not so good a house as the present one, but answered 
all the purposes for more than fifty years. The pulpit was in the 
west end which was a high structure with several steps 
ascending up into it, and which elevated the preacher much 
above the people. There was a gallery attachment at the 
east end for the accommodation of the colored people, and 
under this gallery was a door of entrance, but the chief door 
was on the south side. 


In this house, after Mr. Bowman had left, and about the 
year 1815, the Eev. Eobert H. Chapman berved the people 
as stated supply. 

The Kev. Elijah Graves succeeded him, and preached 
from November, 1818, until April 1820. He was a great 
temperance reformer, ana many signed a pledge under his 

The Eev. Dr. John Witherspoon frequently preached at 
New Hope about this time, and occasionally during a number 
of years after this date. 

These brethren were located at Hillsboro, and engaged in 
teaching in connection with the church there, and they sup- 
plied New Hope as time and opportunity would permit. 

We have now reached a point in the history of the church 
from which we- can be more accurate in dates and names, for 
henceforth there is a full record of all the proceedings of the 


The first minute recorded in the oldest session book is as 
follows: — 

" New Hope ChuRCH, 

"April 22, 1820. 

"Session met. Present: Kev. S. K. Kollock, Mod.: James 
Strayhorn, John Strain, James Hart, John Freeland. 

" Kev. Mr. Witherspoon being present was invited to take a 
seat as a member of the session. 

k 'Mr. Kollock laid before the session the resolution of the 
Presbytery 'recommending all the churches under their care 
that had been vacant for some time to be re-organized and 
newly regulated.' It seemed upon inquiry that there was 
no record of the members of the church, and that owing to 
the want of stated preaching but little discipline had 
hitherto been exercised. Therefore, 

" Kesolved, That on to-morrow the church be re-organized 
and the members be admitted by a public assent to the 
articles of faith and covenant, to walk as disciples of Christ. " 


On the next day it appears that the following came for- 
ward and assented to the covenant: — 

Ruling Elders — John Strain, James Hart, James Stray- 
horn and John Freeland. Members — Alex Gattis, Samuel 
Faucett, Rebecca Craig, Sr., Rebecca Craig, Jr., Penelope 
Strayhorn, Elizabeth Currie, Jane Freeland, Elizabeth 
Davis, Margaret Craig and Elizabeth Faucett. 

Aaron Hunter and Jane McCauley seem to have been 
members, but were not present on that day. 

It appears from the above minutes the Rev. Mr. Kollock 
was at this time pastor, though there is no mention made of 
his installation. His home was in Hillsboro and he preached 
at New Hope in connection with the Hillsboro church until 
1825, when we find the following note in the minutes: — ■ 

"In May, 1825, the connection between Mr. Kollock and 
the New Hope congregation was dissolved. He was suc- 
ceeded by the Rev. Elijah Graves as stated supply." 

Mr. Graves began to preach at New Hope the second 
time in November, 1825, and continued to be the regular 
minister until May, 1831, when the co-laborers, Rev. Dan- 
iel L. Russell and Rev. John S. McCutcheon began their 

These brethren were missionaries or evangelists, and 
unitedly preached at New Hope from November, 1831, until 
March, 1832 

They were immediately followed by the Rev. Phillip 
Pearson, who remained until October of the same year. 

It was during this time — from November, 1831, until 
November, 1832, — that the church enjoyed a great and 
gracious revival of religion under the ministration of these 
three brethren. Numerous and substantial tents were built 
upon the grounds, and the people came from all quarters, 
and lived in them for weeks at a time in order to attend the 
meetings The record shows that there were at least seventy 
persons admitted to the communion about this time, and 
Dr. John Witherspoon seems to have been present at most of 
the sessional meetings. 

The next regular stated minister after Mr. Graves was 


the Rev. George W. Ferrill. He was unanimously elected 
pastor March, 23, 1833, and was installed soon after. He con- 
tinued to preach at New Hope until July, 1836, when the 
pastoral relation was dissolved. He is still living at his 
home in Granville county, but is very old and infirm, and has 
long since ceased to attend the church courts. 

He was succeeded by the Eev. Dr. James Phillips, who 
began to preach at New Hope as stated supply in August, 
1836, and he continued to serve the chuich in this relation 
until December, 1865. He served the church a longer period 
than any other one man, and was greatly beloved by the 
congregation. When he ceased to preach at New Hope — 
about thirty years having passed away — the congregation 
was in a great measure a new generation from that which 
was present when he began his labors there. His life and 
history as a professor in the University of North Carolina, as 
well as a preacher of the gospel, are well known, not only in 
this State, but throughout the South. For a long time dur- 
ing the early history of Chapel Hill there was no Presbyte- 
rian church in the village, consequently the people of New 
Hope enjoyed the preachiDg of this pious and learned man 
almost every Sabbath for quite a number of years. He was 
a pure Englishman, and never failed to betray it by his pe- 
culiar brogue. His name and memory are still precious in 
the congregation — especially with those who knew him best. 

Eis son, the Kev. Dr. Charles Phillips, united with the 
church at New Hope March 27.1842, and in after years, when 
he became a minister, often preached there in connection 
with his father. He was ordained at New Hope in 1866. He 
was one of the brainest men that North Carolina ever pro- 
duced. His life work was teaching and yet, he was a most 
powerful preacher — big hearted and had the symplicity of a 
child in his manner and illustrations. 

The Hon. David L. Swain also first united with the church 
at New Hope, and both he and Dr. Charles Phillips were 
dismissed by certificate to join the church at Chapel Hill 
October 26th, 1845. 

As before stated, it was on Sunday morning of March 10th, 


1862, when Dr. Phillips and the congregation came together 
to find the old church a smouldering heap of ruins. At that 
time the civil war was the all absorbing theme, and the 
hearts of the people were filled with sadness — both on account 
of the desolation upon the battle-fields and the destruction 
of their cherished old landmark — the church of their fathers. 
This house had stood in tact since the year 1805, but it was 
now a thing of the past. But the people were not discouraged 
and took immediate steps towards building a new church. 
In the meantime a large arbor was erected on the grounds, 
under which the people worshipped during the summer of 



This house stands about twenty steps to the northwest 
from the site where the third was burDt. It is a very neat 
and comfortable country church, and capable of seating an 
ordinarily large congregation. It was built in war times 
with Confederate money, when it required a large amount of 
money to pay for a small amount of work. David Craig, a 
ruling elder, who still lives, was an active mover and the 
chief manager in its erection. Within the last year it has 
been painted, and its appearance much improved. This house 
forms a water shed between the streams of Eno and New 
Hope, or the Neuse and Cape Fear rivers. 

The Kev. Dr. James Phillips preached the first sermon 
in this house to a large congregation on Sunday, the 25th of 
October, 1863, from the text, Isaiah 35:8. 

After Dr. Phillips ceased to serve the church — in 1865 — the 
Bev. Thomas Lynch became stated supply, and served the 
church from February, 1886, until the winter of 1867. 


It was during this period that the Presbytery of Orange 
last convened at New Hope— April 11th, 1866 — at which time 
the Eev, Drs. Charles Phillips and Calvin H. Wiley were 
ordained, sine-titulo. 

After Mr. Linch the Eev. Henry B. Pratt, supplied the 
church for the space of six months in connection with church 
at Hillboro. He was a foreign missionary, and spent most 
of his life in South America. He began to preach in May 
1868, and on the 24th day of said month and year the writer 
of this sketch, together with John T. Hogan, Caroline Stray- 
horn, Elizabeth and Isabel Kirkland, were received and 
baptised as members of the church. And the first sermon I 
ever preached in this church was from 2 Cor. 5:20, May 20th, 

After Mr. Pratt the church was supplied during a part of 
1859 and '70 by the Eev. A. Kirkland. 

In 1870 the Eev. T. U. Faucett became stated supply, and 
served the church until the fall of 1872. 

The Eev. C. N. Morrow preached for a short while in 1873 
and Eev. J. L. Currie a short while in the year 1874. 

In August 1874, the Eev. P. H. Dalton became stated 
supply, and served the church in this relation until January 
6th, 1884, when he was installed pastor. In February 1786, he 
offered his resignation of the pastoral charge, which was not 
accepted by the great majority of the congregation, and he 
still continued to be pastor of the church until December, 
1886, when the pastoral relation was dissolved. Mr. Dalton 
united with the church at New Hope while a student at 
Chapel Hill, September the 4th, 1842, and his membership 
has never been removed, During his ministry at New Hope 
for the past twelve years, according to his own statement, 
there have been at least fifty additions to the membership, 
the congregation having largely increased, and several 
families have been brought in which had no connection with 
the church. In closing a recent lettle to the writer he says, 
"I have worked hard, and under unfavorable circumstancas, 
but God has blessed my labors." 

Before the departure of Mr. Dalton there arose trouble in 


the church which seemed to be chiefly confined to the session. 
They could not agree touching many points, and did not act 
harmoniously among themselves. The church remained 
vacant about one year, during which time the Presbytery 
sent a commission to the church which apparently settled all 
existing troubles. 

In March, 1887, Rev. James L. Currie was installed pastor, 
which relation existed until November, 1889, when it was 

During this short pastorate fresh troubles arose which 
involved certain members of the church and session. A case 
growing out of the settlement of an estate by a member of 
the congregation, and which properly belonged to the civil 
courts, was allowed to come before the session. This case 
was finally adjudicated by an adjourned meeting of the Pres- 
bytery, March 5th, 1889, and the result only widened the 
breach in the session and intensified a spirit of bitterness on 
the part of certain members. 

Whereupon a private member of the church, Mr. David A. 
Claytor, originated and executed a petition signed by a large 
majority of the church, asking the entire bench of active 
elders to resign, namely: Messrs. John T. Hogan, Chas. W. 
Johnston, William C. Claytor, Samuel D. Blackwood, Samuel 
Kirkland and Leroy Craig. 

Ruling elder David Craig, who is now an old man and 
infirm, and who enjoys the confidence, love and esteem of the 
entire church, was not included in this petition. 

The three first named elders expressed their willingness to 
resign, the three last named refused. 

The petition was then sent up to the Presbytery. The 
Presbytery met at the church in an adj ourned meeting May 
16, 1889; after hearing all the parties, dissolved the relation as 
elders between all the aforesaid six brethren and the church, 
and ordered a new election. 

The election was held May 25th, 1889, and was presided 
over by the Rev. P. H. Johnston, D. D. Messrs. Chas. W. 
Johnston, John T. Hogan and Wm. C. Claytor were 
re-elected — a majority of the ballots cast determining the 


number elected, as well as the men chosen. These brethren 
were re-installed in the presence of a large congregation. 

Another adjourned meeting of the presbytery was held at 
the church in the summer of 1890, in order, if possible to 
reclaim certain disaffected and absenting members. 

The next pastor called to New Hope church in connection 
with Chapel Hill, was Eev. James E. Fogartie, who was 
installed Nov. 30, 1890. About this time Eev. Dr. W. D 
Morton and Eev. Mr. Maxwell, synodical evangelists, con- 
ducted a meeting at New Hope with blessed results. Quite 
a number have been added to the church, and Mr. Fogartie, 
the new pastor, has already won the hearts of the people. 

It is to be devoutly hoped that the church in the future, 
"forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching 
forth unto those things which are before, will press 
toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in 
Christ Jesus,' 1 and go on to grow, and to prosper, and to con- 
quer, through him who, "loved the church and gave himself 
for it." 




Eev. Henry Patillo, Organizer, - - About 1765 

Eev. John Debow, Stated Supply, - 1775 

Eev. Jacob Lake, Stated Supply, - - - 1785 

Eev. Wm. M. Thompson, Pastor, - - - 1795 

Eev. James H. Bowman, Stated Supply, . - 1802 

Eev. Robert H. Chapman, Stated Supply, - - 1815 

Eev. Elijah Graves, Stated Supply, - - - 1817 

Eev. Shepherd K. Kollock, Pastor, - 1820 


Eev. Elijah Graves, Stated Snpply, - - - 1S25 

Rev. Daniel L. Russell, Evangelist, - 1831 

Rev. John S. McCutcheon, Evangelist, - - - 1831 

Rev. Philip Pearson, Evangelist, - 1832 
Rev. George W. Ferrill, Pastor, .... 1833 

Rev. James Phillips, D. D., Stated Supply, - - 1836 

Rev. Thomas Lynch, Stated Supply, - - - 1866 

Rev. Henry B. Pratt, Stated Supply, - - - 1868 

Rev. Alexander Kirkland, Slated Supply, - - 1869 

Rev Thomas U. Faucett, Stated Supply, - - 1870 

Rev. Calvin N. Morrow, Stated Supply, - - - 1873 

Rev. James L. Currie, Stated Supply, - - - 1874 

Rev. Pleasant H. Dalton, Stated Supply, - - 1874 

Rev. Pleasant H. Dalton, Pastor, - 1884 

Rev. James L. Currie, Prstor, - 1887 

Rev. James E. Fogartie, Pastor, - 1890 


FROM this point forward in the history of New Hope 
church the writer desires to call especial attention. If we 
lose the line of our ancestry we olten lose sight of the re- 
peated fulfilment of the promises of God to His people. This 
is an important matter, and should be impressed upon the 
minds of our children and our children's children. For be it 
remembered " Oar God is a covenant-keeping God.'' His 
promise is unto His children and to their seed forever. And 
"He is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count 
slackness. This thought is beautifully expressed by Wil- 
liam N. Patterson, a great-grandson of Gilbert Stray horn, 
who in a recent letter to the writer says, "The divine inspi- 
rations as taught and enjoyed by the founders of old New 
Hope church can never be lost to their descendants. Family 


connections and other causes may for a time draw them from 
the worship of their fathers, but intuitively we see them away 
down along the course of time moving into line again." Let 
this be noted as we trace the eldership and the families of 
New Hope church in connection with Gilbert Stray horn and 
John Craig, the original founders of the church. 

From the time the church was organized — most probably 
by Henry Patillo, and about 1765, — until the year 1795 the 
following persons were known to have been elders: Gilbert 
Strayhorn, John Oraig, John Mitchell, Robert Baker, Mr. 
Gill, Alexander Strain and James Hart. There may have 
been others whose names I have never learned, but these 
were elders during the first thirty years of the church's his- 
tory. And of these Messrs. Mitchell, Baker and Gill have 
left no representatives. The Mitchells were connected with 
the Faucetts, and the latter family was three times afterwards 
represented in the session, but this family also has ceased to 
be found in the congregation. 

About the year 1795 the following three persons were or- 
dained and installed elders, and they — with James Hart- — 
constituted the entire session at the re-organization of the 
church in April, 1820. They were James Strayhorn, John 
Strain and John Freeland. 

Gilbert Strayhorn and John Craig were now dead — the 
former having died Feb. 6, 1803, and the latter Feb. 19, 1816. 
The one was 88 years old and the other was about 90. It 
will now be noticed that the above named James Strayhorn 
was a son of Gilbert. James Hart married his daughter, 
Nancy; John Strain was his nephew and married his daugh- 
ter, Miriam, and John Freeland was in some way closely 
connected with John Craig. 

From the minutes of Orange Presbytery I learn that 
John Craig attended the Presbytery at Hawfields in April, 
1796; John Freeland at Buffalo church in September, 1796; 
John Straiu at Ptaftswamp church in March, 1797; Mr. Stray- 
horn at Hawfields in October, 1797. I cannot tell whether 
this was the father or son, as the christian name is not given. 
James Hart attended at Alamance church in September, 1798, 


and John Mitchell at Eno church in March, 1799. From 
these facts it is evident that the four above mentioned elders, 
who were present at the re-organization of the church in 1820, 
were ordained about the year 1795. 

The next ordination occurred Oct. 15, 1820, when the 
following three persons were added to the session: Alex- 
ander Gattis, Samuel Faucett and Gilbert Strayhorn. The 
latter was a grandson of Gilbert, the old elder, and a son of 

The next ordination occurred Feb. 1, 1832, when tbe fol- 
lowing five persons were added to the session: William Brown, 
Alexander Strain, Samuel Hart, David Hart and Allen Petty. 
Again it will be noticed that two of these — the two Harts — 
were the grandsons of Gilbert Strayhorn. Mr. Strain was a 
son of Alexander. Of the other two there is neither name 
nor representative in the congregation at the present time. 

In May, 1836, John R, Faucett was received and installed 
an elder from the Cross Roads church. 

The next ordination occurred May 9, 1840, when the fol- 
lowing four persons were added to the session: George A. 
Faucett, David Craig, William C. Blackwood, and Joseph 
Kirkland. And again it will be noticed that David Craig 
is a grandson of John Craig and a great-grandson of Gil- 
bert Strayhorn. And all of these four, except Mr. Faucett, 
were the great-grandsons of William Craige, and Joseph 
Kirkland was the father of the present Rev. A. Kirkland. 

In September, 1859, the following five persons were or- 
dained and installed elders: Samuel S. Claytor, Alexander 
Dickson, William S. Kirkland, Bryant Strayhorn and George 
R. Long. We will note again the connection with the old 
elders: Bryant Strayhorn was a grandson of Gilbert, and his 
wife, Mary Strain, was a granddaughter. Mr. Kirkland was 
a great-grandson of William Craige, and married a great- 
granddaughter of Gilbert Strayhorn. Mr. Long was a grand- 
son of a grandson of John Craig. Mr. Claytor was in some 
way connected with the Strayhorns through the Cabes. 

In June, 1871, John T. Hogan and Samuel D. Blackwood 
were ordained and added to the bench of elders. Here again 


Mr. Hogan is a direct descendant of the old elder, John 
Freeland, and married a great-granddaughter of Gilbert 
Strayhorn. Mr. Blackwood is a grandson of a daughter of 
John Craig, and married not only a great-granddaughter of 
John Craig, but a granddaughter of the grandchildren of 
Gilbert Strayhorn in direct line from both her father and 

The next ordination occurred July 8, 1877, when William 
C. Claytor, Nettleton G. Craig and Charles W. Johnston 
Were made elders. Mr. Claytor is a son of the elder ordained 
in 1859. Mr. Craig was " a choice young man" — born Jan. 
16, 1849, and died May 2, 1879, — and a great-grandson of 
John Craig, and a great-great-grandson of Gilbert Strayhorn 
in direct line from both his father and mother. And Mr. 
Johnston is a grandson of Gilbert St ray horn's daughter, 
Mary, who married John Cabe. 

The next and last ordination of elders at New Hope oc- 
curred July 17, 1879, when Samuel Kirkland and Leroy 
Craig were added to the session. Mr. Kirkland is a great- 
grandson of William Craige, and his wife is a granddaughter 
of John Craig and a great-granddaughter of Gilbert Stray- 
horn. Mr Craig stands in the same relation to John Craig 
and Gilbert Strayhorn as that described above in the case of 
Nettleton G. Craig. 

Thus ends the long list of elders who have officiated in the 
affairs of New Hope church, and I hope I will be pardoned if 
1 here record my own name, David Irvin Craig, — a great- 
great-grandson of both William Craige and Gilbert Stray- 
horn. I was born Feb. 11, 1849; studied at Davidson Col- 
lege, and graduated at Columbia Theological Seminary, S. C, 
May 8, 1878, was licensed to preach the gospel at Greensboro, 
N. C, May 31, 1878, and was ordained and installed pastor at 
Reidsville, N. C, June 1, 1879, where I still abide. 

I have already called attention to the fact that the Rev. 
Robert Tate was a grandson of Gilbert Strayhorn. 

The Rev. G. A. Russell, of Term., and the Rev. Andrew 
Craige were both grandsons of John Craig, and the Rev. 
Alexander Blackwood and Rev. Alexander Kirkland both 


sprang from New Hope church, also Rev. Braxton Craig, a 
Baptist minister, and Eev. Newell Strayhorn, a Cumberland 
Presbyterian minister in Austin, Texas. I have also been 
reliably informed that there are ten or a dozen Cumberland 
Presbyterian ministers in the west who can trace their origin 
to old New Hope church. 

Thus let it be carefully noted that nearly all of these min- 
isters and elders are either the direct descendants, or are in 
some way closely connected with the original founders of the 
church, therefore clearly illustrating the truth of God's 
promises to them that keep His covenant. And the same 
will be equally apparent if we have the time and patience to 
enter into the large field of family connections and their rela- 
tions to the church. 



Gilbert Strayhorn, : About 1765 
John Craig, : 
John Mitchell, 
Robert Baker, 

Mr. Gill, 

Alexander Strain, 
James Hart, 

The above named persons were the elders through the first 
thirty years of the church's existence. 

James Strayhorn, : : 1795 

John Strain, : : : : 

John Ereeland, : : : 



Alexander Gattis, : 
Samuel Faucett, : 
Gilbert Strayhorn, : 
William Brown, : 
Alexander Strain, : 
Samuel Hart, : : 
David Hart, : : 
Allen Petty, : : 
John E. Faucett, : 
George A. Faucett, : 
David Craig, : : 
William C. Blackwood, 
Joseph Kirkland, : 
Samuel C. Claytor, : 
Alexander Dickson, 
William S. Kirkland, 
Bryant Strayhorn, 
George B. Long, : 
John T. Hogan, : : 
Samuel D. Blackwood, 
William C. Claytor, : 
Nettleton G. Craig, 
Charles W. Johnston, 
Samuel Kirkland, : 
Leroy Craig, : : 











The old graveyard near the site of the first churcb was 
badly located, the ground being too low and forming almost 
a basin, and in the winter season it was almost impossible to 
bury the dead in a dry tomb. Great dissatisfaction existed 
in the minds of many persons as they saw their loved ones 


thus laid away. It was in December, 1859, when a little 
infant brother of mine was buried there under just such cir- 
cumstances. My father, James Newton Craig, was greatly 
troubled and dissatisfied, and determined that he would re- 
move the remains at some future day. It was never done, 
however, until he died Feb. 11, 1879, when the remains were 
transferred to the new graveyard and deposited by his side. 
But when he had a second child to die he determined to seek 
a new and dry place where he might lay its body. And 
accordingly, in company with ruling elder David Craig, he 
selected a spot in the present graveyard, where his little son, 
Vernon, nine months old, was buried the 1st day of January, 
1869. This was the first grave, and the origin of the present 
burying ground at New Hope church, where scores have since 
been buried. It is a dry and beautiful location, looking to 
the sunrise, and a little south of east from the church, and 
will, no doubt, receive the mortal remains of generations to 



The following persons lived within the bounds of New 
Hope congregation, and gave their lives to the "Lost Cause " 
Samuel A. Craig, William H. Craig, Joseph A. Craig, Thomas 
J. Stray horn, George Stray horn, Samuel Stray horn, AVilliam 
H, Strayhorn, Egbert Strayhorn, Greene Strayhorn, Wiley 
Strayhorn, Archibald Strayhorn, John Kirkland, Alexander 
Baldwin, Jackson Borland, William Borland, Wilton B. Bob- 
son, Orin A. Watson, Bartlett Bishop, William J. Long, 
William G. Latta, Jordan Williams, Henry Gilliam, Wisely 
Barton, Maurice Sharp, William Crabtree, Leonard Crabtree. 
Munroe Crabtree, William B-hodes, John Neal, Thomas 
Sykes, Kein Sykes. John Howard, William Thompson, Mun- 
voe Thompson. Samuel Thompson. 



In endeavoring to give a brief account of the sons and 
daughters of some of these fathers of the church my effort 
must necessarily be very imperfect. I therefore ask the for- 
bearance of my friends, and hope at some future day to see 
the work corrected and arranged in better form. 


The number of Gilbert Strayhorn's children, their names 
and places of residence have already been stated. 


was his eldest child, and just here I may call attention to a 
note in the old session book. It states that John Stray horn, 
the son of Gilbert, who died in 1826, aged 84, was a native of 
Pennsylvania and a member of the church before coming to 
North Carolina. It has been stated by William Burns, a 
grandson of old William Burns, and who was an old man 
when he died, that this John Strayhorn was a bound boy or 
young man in the service of William Barns, and that he came 
to North Carolina in company with him from Pennsylvania. 
It has also been said that he was a younger brother of Gil- 
bert Strayhorn, and that their father's name in Pennsylvania 
was Gilbert. If this be true it is natural to suppose that the 
name of " Strayhorn " was adopted by him along with his 
brother. He seems never to have had a family and died a 
good man. It was owing to the existence of this man that I 
mentioned a probable third son in the original family in 
Pennsylvania, on page 7. 

The John Strayhorn before us now, the son of Gilbert the 
father of the name, was born in the Hawfields in 1742, and 
afterwards was mairied there to Elizabeth Johnston, by 
whom he had twelve children. 


Some interesting stories are told by Mr. John A. Freeland 
concerning this man, whom he well remembers. It seems he 
was a revolutionary soldier, and had chai'ge of the rear wagon 
in Morgan's retreat after the battle of the Cowpens. The 
wagon was loaded with prisoners and plunder, and as he was 
crossing a swimming stream, one wheel struck a floating log, 
and he gave a sorrel mare a lick with the whip, when she 
went to the bottom and pulled the wagon over. Cannons on 
both sides of the river were in readiness to fire until he 
passed over. 

Again, he was stationed on a hill on the south side of Eno 
river, opposite Hillsboro, when Lord Cornwallis took that 
" whig capital," capturing the Governor and routing the un- 
fortunate forty-two whigs who were at the public spring 
getting ready to fight. There Thomas Freeland fell, shot 
through the head by a tory. The grandfather of Mr. Free- 
land, coming from Haw river, dug a hole and buried him. 
He does not say which grandfather, Mr. Strain or the old 
Elder John Freeland. His grave is on the hill near Kirk- 
land's old tan yard. The British and Tories in high glee left 
the dead to bury the dead, and searched the country, bringing 
in whigs before Lord Cornwallis, who sat in Cain's old store 
as judge and jury until the old jail was full. 

Another story Mr. Freeland relates as told to him by this 
man, John Strajdiorn, is as follows: — Captain Young, of 
Hillsboro, collected about one hundred whigs and went to 
fight Dick Edwards on Cane Creek. The whigs were on a 
road leading to a large hill, where the road forked. The 
tories had news of their approach, and had collected about 
three hundred men and were lying in ambush on one of the 
forks of the road going around the hill. But finding that the 
whigs had taken the other fork, they ran around and overtook 
three men who were behind, and killed them. Here the 
fight began, and Captain Young was killed and Alexander 
Geddes, the old elder of New Hope church in after years, 
was wounded. Then Mr. Strayhorn said, " I looked through 
the sight of my rifle at their captain and fired, and he fell ! 


The fight was soon ended and we returned with our brave 
dead." As Mr. Freeland truly remarks, " What was the his- 
tory of one was the history of nearly all of New Hope's men, 
— fighting for American liberty and against a State Church, 
which was then the Church of England." 

His children were as follows: 

Charles, who married Mary Piper, and some of whose 
descendants are to be found in Durham county. 

Jane, who married Alexander Craig, the father of David 
Craig, who is now the oldest elder in the church and the 
father of elder Nettleton Craig, deceased, and of Samuel and 
William, who died in the civil war. 

Nancy, who married Joseph Freeland. 

Gilbert, who married Jane Kirkland. 

William, who married Nancy Strain. 

Samuel, who married Sarah Hart; these were the parents 
of Mrs. William S. Kirkland. 

George, who married Mary Brassfield. 

Abner accidentally hung himself while a boy. 

Martha, who married Sampson Moore, whose children 
were John, Thomas, Mrs. Chesley Patterson, Mrs. Dr. 
Rhodes, Mrs. Reed, Mrs. Leroy Stray horn, etc. 

Bryant, who married Mary Strain, whose sons all died in 
the war, — George, Samuel and Hooper. 

David, who married Annie Freeland, and was the father 
of John, who married Eliza Cole, and of Thomas, who fell in 
the battle of Stone River, Tenn. John is the father of Caro- 
line, who is the wife of Milton Craig. 

Mary, who married Robert Davis, and some of whose 
children were Silas, Mrs. Henry Turner and Mrs Bruce. 


the second son, married two wives, Mary Tate and Mary 
Hunter. By Mary Tate he had three children, as follows: — 

Nancy, who married Elisha Smith, whose children were 
Mrs. Anderson Tate and William, who married Everline 

Samuel, who married Mary Moore, and who was the 


father of William F. Strayhorn, the father of Isaac, Thomas 
and Mrs. Berry; Mrs David Craig, Mrs. Newton Craig, my 
mother, and Thomas, who fell in the battle of Ream's Station. 

Gilbert committed suicide. 

By Mary Hunter he had seven children, as follows: — 

Sarah, who married Samuel Tate, of the Hawfields, the 
father of Lemuel, Thomas, William, Pinkney, Mary, Mrs. 
Johnston, Mrs. Dickson, Mrs. Latta and Mrs. Freeland. 

John never married. 

William, who married Nancy Faucett, and their three 
daughters married William Tate, Gilbert Craig and George 

Miriam never married. 

David, who married Sarah Tate, and their children were 
Mary, Newell, Arabella, Yancey, etc. Newell is a Cumber- 
land Presbyterian minister in Austin, Texas. 

Mary, who married Thomas Tate; unknown to me. 

Aaron, who married Nancy Patterson, whose children 
were William, Mary, Sarah, etc. 


the third son, married Rachael Cabe, by whom he had five 
children, as follows: — 

William, who married Nancy Thompson, whose children 
were Thompson, James, Rachael, etc. 

John, who married Susan Borland, and who was the father 
of Wiley, Greene, Egbert, Sidney and Malitha, who married 
Alexander Borland. — These sons all died in the war, except 

James, who married Mary Blackwood, and who was the 
father of Calvin, Robert, Maggie, and Julia, who married 
John T. Hogan. 

Elizabeth never married. 

Mary, who married Archibald Borland, the father of 
William, their only child. 


the fourth son, married two wives, a Miss Cabe and Penny 
Berry. By Miss Cabe he had two children, as follows: — 


Gilbert, who married Sarah Borland, and who was the 
father of David and William. 

John, who is unknown to me. 

By Penny Berry his children were Samuel, Alfred, Eliza, 
etc., who all moved to Tennessee. 


the eldest daughter of Gilbert Stray horn, married James 
Hart, and had eleven children, as follows : — 

Jane, who married David Strain, and their children were 
John, William, Mrs. Samuel C. Kirkland, Mrs. James Hart, 
Mrs. John Horton, etc. 

John, who married Fannie Moore. 

Gilbert, who married Nancy Moore. 

Sarah, who married Samuel Strayhorn. 

James, who married a Miss Belden. 

Elizabeth, who married Andrew Murray. 

Samuel, who married Elizabeth Tate. 

Miriam, who married James Brown. 

David, who married Elizabeth Petty. 

William and Joseph never married. 


the second daughter, married John Strain, and had nine 
children, as follows : — 

David, who married Jane Hart. 

William, who married Nancy Strayhorn. 

Alexander, who married Mary Burns. 

Elizabeth, who married John Elkms, 

Mary, who married Bryant Strayhorn. 

James, who married Elizabeth Gattis. 

Samuel, who married a Miss Brewer. 

Gilbert and Sarah never married. 


the third daughter, married John Cabe, who was a member 
of the legislature in 1796, by whom she had nine children, 
all daughters, as follows: — 

Nancy, who married Joseph Latta and Maj. Donne 11. 


Sarah, who married John Latta. 

Mary, who married Mann Patterson, the father of William 
N. and Robert. 

Kachael, who married M. McCown and H. Simms. 

Katy, who married Benjamin Rodgers. 

Elizabeth, who married Benjamin Rhodes. 

Lydia, who married Charles W. Johnston, the father of the 
present elder bearing the same name. 

Margaret, who married John Caldwell. 

Jane, who married William T. Shields. 

Some of these families moved to the West, and it is a little 
singular that each of the eleven men whom the nine daugh- 
ters married all owned a merchant mill. 


the fourth daughter, married William Ansley, and moved to 

Thus it will be seen that Gilbert Strayhorn had a large 
number of grandchildren; at least sixty are here recorded, 
and most of them in turn married, and had families bearing 
various names, and who are largely the people of New Hope 
congregation to-day. 


As in the case of Mr. Strayhorn, the number of William 
Craige's children, their names aod places of residence have 
already been stated. 


was the eldest child, and married Mary Blackwood, the daugh- 
ter of William Blackwood, by whom he had ten children, as 
follows: — 

James, who married Nellie Turner, of the Hawfields, and 
who was the father of John, James, Annie, etc., of Chapel 
Hill. He was one of the donors of the University site at 
Chapel Hill A story is told of his absent-mindedness. He 
once rode horse back to New Hope church to preaching, and 
when he reached home he was afoot. His wife asked him 


where was his horse. He had forgotten it, and had never 
once thought of it in all of his seven miles tramp. A negro was 
sent after it and found it tied to a tree near the church. 

His son John was a member of the legislature in 1812. 

His son James graduated at Chapel Hill in 1816. 

James F. who lives at the old homestead, and William H. 
a lawyer in Ark., are two of his grandsons, being sons of John. 

Betsy, who married Alexander Russell, and moved west. 

Isabel, who married Geo. Long, and who was the great- 
grandmother of the Long family. 

David, who married Betsy Boroughs, and who was the 
father of four daughters, who married William Brown, Mr. 
Blackwood, Mr. Murdock and John Freeland, the father of 
Johnston and Dr. Oharles. 

Alexander, who married Jane Strayhorn, and who was 
the father of Isabel, who married Caleb Wilson; of John, 
who married Susan White; of Cameron, who married Harriet 
Jacobs; of Mary, who married John Baldwin; of David, 
who married Nancy Strayhorn, and who was the father of 
Nettleton; of Martha, who married Samuel Kirkland; of Gil- 
bert, who married Margaret Strayhorn, the mother of Leroy 

Abram, who married Jane Murdock, and who was the 
father of John, of the Hawfields, and of Andrew, who became 
a Baptist minister in the eastern part of the State. Abram, 
a son of John is at present an elder in the Hawfields church, 
and Locke and Braxton, sons of Andrew, one a lawyer in 
Asheville and the other a Baptist minister. 

Mary, who married Charles Freeland, the father of Fletch- 
er, Mrs. Katy Faucett, etc. 

Samuel, Peggy and John died unmarried. 


was perhaps the second child, and married Nellie Turner, 
of the Hawfields, by whom he had eight children, as fol- 
lows : — 

Johnston, who married Martha Blackwood, and moved 

AVilliam, who married Mary Blackwood and moved west, 


Samuel, who married Mary Johnston, of the Hawfields, 
and moved west. 

David and John went to the West. 

Isabel, who married James Johnston, of the Hawfields, 
and whose descendants are still there. One of her descen- 
dants, T. C. Johnston, is at the present time a ruling elder 
in the Hawfields church. 

Elanor, who married John Blackwood, was the mother of 
thirteen children, whose names will be noticed under the 
Blackwood family. 

Sarah, who married Johnston Blackwocd, and moved away. 


who was perhaps the third son, married Rebecca Ball, by 
whom he had eight children, as follows : — 

William, who married Mary McBryde, at the place where 
David A. Claytor now lives, and moved to South Carolina. 
I have never been able to find any traces of this family, 
though there were several children, and they located in one 
of the border counties, perhaps Chesterfield. I think the 
name of one of his daughters was Scynthia. 

Nancy, who married Joseph Mallette, and who was the 
mother of Mrs. Tinnin in the Hawfields, and of Rebecca, 
who married first Thomas Jacobs, the father of Nancy, who 
married Isaac Craig and Col. William McCauley; and of 
Harriet, who married Cameron Craig, the father of Sandy, 
Johnston, William, etc. Rebecca was married a second time 
to Charles Freeland. 

James, who married Sarah Burns, a daughter of Andrew, 
who was a son of William. James Craig was the father of 
Mis. William Cheek, who had a large family, some of whom 
were Calvin, Mrs. Murphy Smith, etc. His other children 
all moved away. 

Margaret who married Robert Nichols and moved to 

Isaac, who married two wives, Betsy Murray and Nancy 
Jacobs, and who died without children. 

John never married, and died at the age of about twenty- 


five. He was a great sufferer with white swelling, and was 
said to have been a very intelligent man. 

Rebecca never married and lived at the old homestead to 
an advanced age, when she died very suddenly. She was a 
good woman, and was a mother to my grandfather's children, 
after his wife died. 

David, who married Isabel Nelson, a daughter of John 
Nelson of the Hawfields, and who was the father of six chil- 
dren. He was born Oct. 1786, and died of cancer in the eye, 
Nov. 12, 1862. His children were Jennie, Rebecca and John, 
all of whom died young; Wiley and Isabel, who never mar- 
ried, and lived together at the old home until recently, Oct. 
21, 1890, when Wiley died, leaving Isabel all alone. His 
other child, James Newton, was my father, and married 
Emeline Strayhorn, a daughter of Samuel, a son of William, 
a son of Gilbert, the patriarch. My father was the only one 
who perpetuated the name of Craig in N. C, in a direct line, 
through James, the son of William. I am one of ten chil- 
dren, eight of whom are still living. My father was born 
Oct. 14, 1816, and died Feb. 12, 1879. 


the youngest child, married Mary Johnston, of the Haw- 
fields, and was the father of eight children, as follows: — 

William, who married Sarah Woods. 

Samuel, who married two wives, Martha Kirkland and 
Martha Easters. By the first wife two of his children were 
Mary and Martha. Mary was the mother of George S. Free- 
land, and Martha married John Paul late in life. 

Martha, who married Andrew Burns, and who was the 
mother of William, Samuel, Margaret and Anderson. The 
latter moved to Texas. 

Betsy, who married William Kirkland, the father o£ 
William S. who was an elder, and of John, who was Ihe 
father of Richard, Irvin and John. 

Isabel, who married Joseph Kirkland, the father of Sam- 
uel, the elder, John, Joseph. -Tames, William, etc. 

David was drowned. 



Jane, who married George Mitchell. 
Margaret, who married James Mitchell. 


the only daughter, married David Nelson, of the Hawfields, 
by whom she had a large family. Some of her children 
were as follows: — 

Samuel, who married a Miss Tate. 

Lettie, who married James Tate, and two of her daughters 
married brothers by the name of Allen. 

John married Jennie Tate, and was the father of thirteen 
children. He was for many years an elder in the Hawfields 
church, and the names of his numerous family were as fol- 
lows: Isabel, who married David W. Craig, my grandfather; 
Janette, William and George never married; David, John, 
James, Alfred and Josiah all moved west; Samuel, who mar- 
ried Sarah Burnsides, whose sons all died in the war; Mary, 
who married John Paul, whose sons moved west, and some 
of whose daughters, Mrs. Miles, Mrs. James Squires, etc., 
still live in the Hawfields; Margaret, who married John Hart, 
and moved west; Paisley, who married Margaret Smith, whose 
son, Samuel, and daughter, Mrs. Margaret Thompson, still 
live in the Hawfields. 


William Blackwood, like Gilbert Stiayhorn and William 
Craig, was one of the Patriarchs of New Hope, and he was 
the rich man of the congregation in his day. It is said his 
lands were four miles in extent from east to west, — from near 
Robson's old mill to the old road leading from Chapel Hill 
to Hillsboro. 

A story is told of him which well illustrates the sturdy 
Scotch character and customs. When either John Craig or 
Charles Johnston asked him for his daughter in marriage, 
falling back upon the customs of Scotland, he said to the 
young man, " I have a thousand acres of land, besides other 
property to give to my daughter, and have you an equal 
amount to start with her ? " The young man had to answer, 


no! and consent to the marriage was refused. 

But it mattered not, mill day soon came round and bis girl 
had to go, but she did not return, for a conspiracy had. been 
formed by the young couple and the wedding was over. The 
old man was beaten and had the " pouts " for weeks, but per- 
haps remembering his own sins, he sent for his children to 
come home, and gave them his blessing as well as the portion 
of lands. 

It would be almost impossible for me to enlarge in any 
great measure upon this family without repeating much of 
what I have already written, And the same might be said 
of the Kirkland and Freeland families, for they are all close- 
ly connected, and the history of one greatly involves the his- 
tory of the others. 

As stated elsewhere. William Blackwood, the original set- 
tler, had eight children, and the name has been perpetuated 
in the New Hope congregation through his son. 


who married Margaret King, by whom he had sixteen chil- 
dren — four sons and twelve daughters. I have been 
informed that the daughters married as follows: 

Elizabeth; who married George Allen, of Tennessee. 

Hannah, who married Willoughby Selph, of Virginia. 

Mary, who married William Craig, son of David. 

Martha, who married Johnston Craig, son of David. 

Jennie, who married John McCauley. 

Annie, who married Jacob Potts. 

Margaret, who married William Long, of Tennessee. 

Sarah, who married John Gattis, of Georgia. 

Nancy, who married James and Silas Davis. 
♦ Fannie, who married Anderson Long. 

Isabel, and Katy, died unmarried. 

The four sons were William, James, and Johnston, who 
all moved away, and John, the perpetuator of the name on 
the waters of New Hope. 

This man, John Blackwood, was twice married; first to 
Elanor Craig, the daughter of David the son of William, by 


whom he had thirteen children, and second to Mary McCau- 
ley, by whom he had seven childien — twenty in all. His 
children by Elanor Craig were as follows : Mary, who mar- 
ried James Strayhorn, the father of Calvin, Robert, Magrgie 
and Mrs. Julia Hogan; David ? who married Tabitha Minor, 
of Granville, and was the father of John M., Samuel D., the 
elder, Mrs. Ward, Mrs. Mary Blackwood and Mrs. Julia 
Kirkland; William, who was an elder, married Martha Minor, 
of Granville, and was the father of John T., William, etc.; 
Margaret who married John McCauley, the father of David, 
James, etc,; Isabel, Samuel and Jackson never married; John, 
who married Laura Springs, of South Carolina; Nathaniel, 
who married Mary Jones, of Johnston county; Alexander, 
who married Helen Horton, and became a Baptist minister; 
Robert married Susan Stanley, of Surry county; Johnston 
married Rebecca Teel, of New Jersey. The first three men- 
tioned above remained in the bounds of New Hope, the others 
all moved away. I have no knowledge of John Blackwood's 
children by Mary McCauley. 


This family has furnished the church with three ruling 
elders — Joseph, in 1840; William S., in 1859, and Samuel, in 
1879. At the present time it has a large number of male rep- 
resentatives, two of whom are deacons, Joseph and William, 
brothers of the elder. Joseph married Julia Blackwood, a 
sister of Samuel, the elder, and William married Elizabeth 
Craig, the daughter of John, the son of Alexander, the son of 
John Craig. And also her grandmother was Jane Strayhorn, 
the daughter of John, the son of Gilbert Strayhorn. 

I am not sufficiently acquainted with the history of the 
original members of the family so as to speak with certainty 
in reference to them. But enough has been said to show 
their connection with the founders of the church, and thereby 
illustrating the truth of God's promises. 

I am not competent with my present fund of information 
to enter into any detailed account of the Freeland, Hogan 
and Johnston families. 


The Freelands are the oldest in connection with the church, 
and were perhaps among its original organizers, though the 
Hogans came to North Carolina about the same time, and 
perhaps in company with them. It is said that both families 
settled in what is now the western part of the village of 
Chapel Hill about the same time the first settlers located on 
New Hope. It is certain that John Freeland was elder in 
New Hope church as far back as 1796, as the record show. 
This man was the grandfather of John A. Freeland of whom 
mention has been made. 

The Johnston family, as before stated, is of later date, and 
at the present time has only one male representative, C. W. 
Johnston, an elder, and a descendant, on his mother's side, of 
Gilbert Stray horn The present Mr. Johnston mariied a 
daughter of the well known educator, Samuel W. Hughes, 
deceased, and has a large family of children, some of whom 
are members of the church. 



In glancing over what I have written I see how imperfect, 
incomplete and unsatisfactory my work has been. And in 
endeavoring to give some accou nt of the church from her 
earliest history to the present day it has involved the partial 
history of families — and especially of my own — which might 
seem presumptuous; but I disclaim every motive save the 
hope that it might be of use to future generations, enabling 
them to see their ancestry, and causing them to remember 
God's promises. And if anything has been preserved which 
otherwise might have been lost, and which may tend to the 
glory of God, I am satisfied. 

A century and a quarter have wrought great changes in the 
world, since our ancestors were divinely led to worship God 
on the hill of New Hope; but through all these changes their 
representatives are still abiding under the shadow of ihe old 
vine. Political and financial convulsions, fire, wars and rev- 
olutions have failed to destroy or annul the promise of God 
to His people. At the same old homes, on the same old 
plantations are the same old names, and the people still 
come to worship God at the same old place, near to the 
graves of their ancestors, and in the midst of sweet associa- 
tions and hallowed memories. And why is all this ? It is 
because of the love of God in Christ to our fathers and to us 
their children. Here the gospel has been preached; here its 
ordinances have been administered, and here immortal souls 
have been born into the kingdom of heaven. 

May the God of all grace continue to bless the people of 
New Hope; and may you, dear reader, and your children and 
your children's children — may all of us and our posterity 
through all time be found in His service and abide under 
His shadow. 


Date Due 

AUG 2 5 



OCT 2 4 

FEB 21 


(2d d K 

OCT 15 

FEB 10 


DEU i 51 

AUG 2 

mjg r 2i 

C C P ^ ft 

btt l U 

OCT 8, 


« 4 



-' ;•- "■ 1 t 

Demco 38-297